When My Mother Died

by Stephen Cuthbertson from Kingston, Ontario

When my mom died I didn’t know what I was going to do. I felt like I hadn’t done something important that I should have done before she died but I couldn’t remember what it was.  

I couldn’t stop thinking about her and about what it was like when she was still here. When I was very young and she went to work I would be at home until noon because kindergarten didn’t start until then. As she left she would say “see ya later alligator”, and I would say “in a while crocodile”. I thought about that and about when she would bring me to her work. She worked at a school. I would sit in her office at her computer playing those really old learning games, sometimes she would even let me sit in her class. Sometimes I could even answer some of the questions that her students couldn’t. I would play soccer baseball in her phys-ed class. Once I scored 3 runs and my team won. After work we would go to Tim Horton’s and get a doughnut and milk. For a while I was sure that is what I had forgotten… the part about me going to her school. But that wasn’t it.  

Maybe it was the walks we took around the city, or maybe even the drives, when she took me out to the Wolfe Island Bakery and we would sit outside watching the ferry come in and out while we ate our cinnamon buns.  

I still try to think about what I missed, what I was supposed to do, but I can’t figure it out. When I’m at school and when I am in the gym playing volleyball or in English class I think about how my mom taught me how to read, write, how to play sports, and of course my A, B, C’s. I think about how much she taught me before I went to school. Even now the gap hasn’t been filled I am still searching. Maybe I just didn’t know how to get over the fact that my mom had died and that means no more walks through the park or trips to Tim Horton’s with her. I will remember those days until I die and, just the way, I hope, my children will remember me when I die.